Sharon’s Note: I’m a sucker for that moment when our hero decides to turn and fight. It’s inspiring, and gives me the warm fuzzies. I want a scene that makes me almost antsy, because I’m ready to join the battle right beside the main character. Hopefully, this is at least a little of that. Warning: After writing this, the author kind of wants to hit something.
Jim held on to the clever so tight his hand hurt. He gestured for the couple to follow him towards the front gate. The carnival was bustling, the crowd seemingly unaware of the danger they were in. He wanted to yell and warn them, but he doubted they could even hear him over the din. They would just think he was crazy if they could.
Other than a drunken jerk who swore at Jim for bumping into him, they reached the front without incident. No one was manning the ticket booth in the front. Actually, once he thought about it, Jim hadn’t seen any of the carnival personnel. People came and went without paying, and took food left out at stalls that weren’t making any more. The rides were running, but no one was working them. Unease hit his stomach like a ball of ice.
“You two get out of here,” he urged the couple. “I’m going back to help Wendy.”
“Should we. . . should we call the cops or something?” the woman asked.
Jim licked his lips. “Uh, maybe? I don’t know how much good it will do.”
The man turned her around and they made their escape. Jim ran back into the crowd. Wendy has said that he should follow the sounds of fighting to find her, but he couldn’t hear anything above the cacophony of the crowd. There were way too many people clogging isles that were suddenly too narrow. He couldn’t find the signs that would point him back towards the haunted house so he fought his way to the ferris wheel because it was the only landmark he could see clearly. It towered above the tents, so much taller in twilight than it had been during the day.
Screams rose above the din, and the crowd started to surge. Stampede. The word rang through Jim’s head, and he pushed his way to one of the food stalls. He jumped over the counter as the huge mass of people charged towards the exit. Something hit the side of the stall hard enough to make it shutter, the wood rattling, and he ducked down next to some giant jugs of oil.
Sounds of pain and panic became a constant, ear-splitting drone, but was almost drowned out by the thunder of running feet. Both of Jim’s hands wrapped around the handle of the cleaver, clutching it to him like a life-saver. Wendy had said that the knife knew what to do. He believed in the knife, and he believed in her.
With a deep breath, he stood and forced himself to look above the counter. The crowd had thinned, and was giving a wide berth to something in a clown suit. The figure stood at least eight feet tall, in a baggy, dirty white sack of a one piece splattered with crusty brown and fresh red stains. A white oval like a giant egg sat on its neck, a happy, fake face painted on in still dripping blood. No, the mouth wasn’t painted on. The teeth that jutted from the gaping maw were saw-edged triangles, tangled with strips of green cloth. A woman cowered on the ground in front of it, her arm a bloody mess beneath the remains of a green shirt.
The clown thing reached down to grab her with one, clumsy gloved hand and Jim acted without thinking. He grabbed one of the smaller jugs and hurled it at the monster, where it burst open, spattering it with cooking oil.
“Hey! Hey, asshole! Come and get me!”
With a hyena laugh, the clown thing complied.